Explore your options with a variety of exercises including water aerobics and Tai Chi, that can help counter the disorder
Ankylosing spondylitis is a disorder that causes inflammation of the vertebrae of the spine making it fuse together to create a hunchback. The condition deteriorates the spine’s flexibility and if the inflammation spread to the ribs, breathing deeply can be a problem for the patient. Men are affected more than women by the disorder and symptoms usually set in during early adulthood. There is no clear cause for the condition but there are several things one can do to prevent it, exercising and quitting smoking being the top of the list. Exercising for even 10 minutes a day can prove to be useful in countering the condition and regaining flexibility of the spine. If you are only experiencing early symptoms of the condition, then include a good exercise routine into your lifestyle to drive it away from your life. If the condition has already been diagnosed for you, these exercises can help strengthen the spine. However, consulting your doctor before performing these is recommended by experts.
You cannot directly start off with cardio or strengthening exercises without getting warmed up first. Warming up signals the muscles that rigorous activity is going to start in a few minutes and so keeps the muscles prepared for what is to come later and prevents injuries. Warm up exercises can include a march up in place, a 10 minutes slow walk that increases pace gradually, or climbing a set of stairs twice. A warm up should be at a pace where you can hold a conversation without panting. Once you have warmed up for 10 minutes, your body is ready to move on to the next step in the exercise process.
If you have ankylosing spondylitis, consulting a physiotherapist to help you develop a program of suitable exercises is recommended. The physiotherapist can perform an initial assessment to advise on the best exercises for your condition. Several patients prefer to work out by playing sports rather than going to the gym and discussing this with your physiotherapist will open options about what kind of activity you would enjoy. The physiotherapist can counter a good plan that involves appropriate warm up sessions and exercises and if you prefer doing these from home, you can always go for a few sessions to understand how to do them properly, and then do them from the comfort of your home itself. It is recommended that you continue going to physical assessments at least once a year after you start your exercises to ensure that they are working for you and also for improving your spine health.
These type of classes involve a complete aerobic workout in a swimming pool. The participants gather at the shallow end of the pool and follow an instructor as they perform various aerobic exercises. Aqua aerobics is highly recommended for ankylosing spondylitis patients because it provides a full body workout without inflicting the joints with any additional stress. The water buoyancy plays a role in ensuring that the body doesn’t take more stress than required. The aerobic movements are usually similar to the ones performed in a studio but the water makes you work harder because it provides some resistance to the body. Try a class of water aerobics and you’ll probably be hooked because of how it keeps you energized while strengthening your spine and promoting cardiovascular health.
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